AN APPRAISAL OF THE DIVISION OF TAXING POWERS IN NIGERIA – A PARADIGM SHIFT.
The prolonged military rule in Nigeria has bequeathed an over centralized structure under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 whereby the Federal Government generates about 90 percent of the country‟s tax revenue. While the need for decentralization and diversification of Nigerian revenue base from oil is self evident, the critical roles of division of taxing powers in achieving these laudable objectives are yet to be articulated and mainstreamed in public discourse. This thesis examines the framework for division of taxing powers in Nigeria and the gap between theory and practice based on the country‟s historical experiences and that of other federations. It is argued that the current structure of division of taxing powers is antithetical to the basic principles of federalism. The thesis recommends a concurrent use of a few broad based taxes under a cooperative federalism framework as a panacea for reform. .
This thesis is divided into seven chapters. Chapter One is on general introduction and research framework while Chapter Two focuses on Literature review. The jurisprudential basis of tax and other related terms form the basis of Chapter Three. Chapter Four examines the international perspectives of division of taxing powers in some federal countries such as United States of America, Canada, Australia, India and Brazil. Chapter Five examines the evolution of division of taxing powers in Nigeria while Chapter six discusses the scheme of division of taxing powers under the 1999 Constitution and the extent to which it either converges or diverges from the principles of federalism. The work is concluded in Chapter Seven with summary, findings and recommendations.